Published Saturday, July 25, 2009 | 10:51 p.m.
Updated Sunday, July 26, 2009 | 4:37 p.m.
Rudy Gay of the Memphis Grizzlies scored a game-high 27 points on Saturday night, but the Blue squad used a 58-38 second half to defeat the White team, 100-81, in the USA Basketball Showcase.
The scrimmage ended a mini-camp tryout for young pros who hope to be a part of future Team USA squads that will compete in the World Championship in Turkey next summer and the Olympics in London in 2012.
Kevin Durant led the Blues with 20 points and 8 rebounds, and Brook Lopez chipped in with 18 points before 6,427 fans at the Thomas & Mack Center. Kyle Korver, Thaddeus Young and Anthony Randolph added a dozen points apiece for the Blues.
Gay hit a scorching 11-of-12 from the field, and he ran off 12 consecutive points in the fourth quarter to get the White to within 87-81 of the Blue. O.J. Mayo scored 13 for the White team, and center Greg Oden had 7 points and 10 boards.
Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay scored eight of the White team's first 15 points to help it lead the Blue team, 23-15, after one quarter.
Gay hit a jump shot from the left side 52 seconds into the game for its first points, and his layup a minute later put the White up, 6-2. He hit another driving layup and finished off an alley-oop pass from O.J. Mayor for a dunk and a 13-11 lead.
Mayo's jumper from the right side with 48 seconds left gave the White a 23-13 advantage before Kyle Korver got on the scoreboard for the Blue team with a jumper of his own from the right side.
Hot hoops in the Vegas summertime continues at the top of the hour with the tip-off of the USA Basketball Showcase.
The Blue-White scrimmage will feature young pros that will be jousting for scant spots on future Team USA squads.
You know, the one with Kobe and LeBron and Carmelo that won gold a year ago at the Olympics in China?
Keep checking here for regular updates on the game’s progression, the celebrities in the stands and other fodder on and off the Thomas & Mack Center court. Don't expect a packed crowd of 19,000, though -- the entire top level is blocked off by black curtains.
After two days of practices at Valley High, these international greenhorns will be trying to earn their red, white and blue keep on a big stage at the Mack.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Kevin Durant has been looking powerful so far in the mini-camp, and he’s considered a lock for one of the few spots on the team that will play in the World Championship in Turkey.
At best, a subordinate role or two will be available. At worst, maybe three or four more of these players will be alternates.
That in itself shows how far Team USA has come under the leadership of USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski, the Duke coach who has been moonlighting for Team USA in recent summers.
Let’s get on to the squads:
Blue – Charlotte guard D.J. Augustin, Durant, Philadelphia swingman Andre Iguodala, Utah guard Kyle Korver, New Jersey center Brook Lopez, Minnesota forward Kevin Love, Golden State forward Anthony Randolph, Atlanta forward Josh Smith, Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook and Philly forward Thaddeus Young.
White – Utah guard Ronnie Brewer, Memphis forward Rudy Gay, L.A. Clippers guard Eric Gordon, Oklahoma City forward Jeff Green, New Jersey guard Devin Harris, Memphis guard O.J. Mayo, Washington post man JaVale McGee, Utah forward Paul Millsap, Portland center Greg Oden and Chicago guard Derrick Rose.
The early favorite? We’ll take the blue squad, 88-76, in the four 10-minute quarters, with the two-tone basketballs, trapezoid lanes and short 3-point shot.
Durant, Westbrook and Love, going on the past two days at Valley High, form a solid trio that we don’t think will be beat.